Chase Freedom® Card
"Best No-Annaul Fee card with potential to earn 5X in rotating categories"
The biggest selling point of the Chase Freedom card is the ability to earn an impressive five points per dollar spent on select purchases. The catch is that the categories of purchases that qualify for that bonus change every quarter. Plus, you can only earn five points per dollar on up to $1,500 of purchases a quarter.
Still, though, that’s a great earning rate, and the Freedom card has no annual fee. That makes this an excellent card to add to other rewards cards in your wallet. Just keep an eye on the rotating bonus categories and make sure you only use the Freedom card when you’ll earn bonus points.
While Chase markets the Freedom card as a cashback card, you can get more value from your points if you pair it with a premium Ultimate Rewards card, such as the Sapphire Preferred or Reserve. If you have one of those cards, you’ll be able to transfer the points you earn to any of the Ultimate Rewards program’s seven airline partners. You can’t do that if you only have the Freedom card.
You can also redeem for travel through the Ultimate Rewards website, which opens up even more options. With the just the Freedom card, you’ll get one cent per point. But you can get 1.25 cents per point if you also have the Sapphire Preferred and 1.5 cents per point with the Sapphire Reserve.
In short, the Freedom card is a solid option on its own, but it really shines as a supplement to other rewards cards, particularly if they’re part of the Ultimate Rewards program.
Bonuses and Benefits
Knowing what benefits come with a credit card can help you decide if it’s a good fit for you. Here we cover the bonuses and perks that the Chase Freedom® Card offers and the value of the Chase Ultimate Rewards® points you earn.
The Freedom card comes with a quick 15,000 point sign-up bonus after spending just $500 in the first three months of card membership. Those points are worth $150 in cash back, though you can get even more value if you have a premium Ultimate Rewards card and redeem the points for travel.
This card also comes with 0% APR for 15 months on both new purchases and balance transfers. That makes this card a good choice if you’re thinking about making a big purchase that you’d want to pay off over time.
While this card could be used to help pay off debt you may have accrued on other cards thanks to its interest-free balance transfer offer, you should keep in mind that you’ll be charged a 5 percent transfer fee. It may still save you money, but you’ll have to do the math to be sure.
What You Get
- Earn 15,000 points after you spend $500 within the first 3 months
- 5 points per dollar spent on select rotating bonus categories
- 0% APR for 15 months on new purchases and balance transfers
The points you earn with this card will never expire as long as your account is open. There’s also no limit on the amount of points you can earn, though the 5 percent bonus for select categories is only good for $1,500 worth of purchases per quarter. After reaching that cap, you’ll earn the standard 1 percent back.
What is the value of the Ultimate Rewards® Points?
If you use the Freedom card for cash back, you’ll get one cent per point. That might not sound like much, but purchases that fall into the quarterly bonus categories essentially earn 5 percent back, making each point worth five cents!
If you spend the maximum of $1,500 in the bonus category for a quarter, you’ll earn $75 back. Over a year, that works out to $300 back on just $6,000 of purchases. That’s a great return for a cashback card.
You could get even more value out of your points if you transfer them to a premium Ultimate Rewards credit card account, like the Sapphire Preferred or Reserve. That’s because we value UR points at about 1.8 cents each if you transfer them to an airline partner. Maxing out the bonus categories for a year would earn a whopping 30,000 UR points. At 1.8 cents each, that’s worth about $540 in award flights!
What is CPM and How Is It Calculated?
Cents Per Mile (CPM) is a way to measure the value of miles or points. It tells you how many cents you get for each mile or point you redeem by dividing the cash price of the airline ticket by the number of miles or points the award flight costs. That amount is multiplied by the number of miles or points earned per dollar spent on everyday purchases to account for cards that earn more than one mile per dollar spent.
How we calculate CPM:
The final result:1.00cpm
The Best Ways to Redeem Chase Freedom Points
You’ll get the most value for your points if you transfer them to an airline frequent flyer program and redeem for flights. You can only do this if you also have a premium Ultimate Rewards card, such as the Sapphire Preferred, Sapphire Reserve or the Ink Plus Business card.
While the Ultimate Rewards program has the fewest airline partners of any of the major rewards programs, Chase choose their partners carefully. It may take a little research and work, but you can get good value out of your points with these partners .They include Air France KLM, British Airways, Korea Air, Singapore Airlines, Southwest, United and Virgin Atlantic. They all transfer at a 1:1 ratio.
If you can’t find the flight you need through Chase’s airline partners, you can also redeem for travel through the Ultimate Rewards website. The pricing is competitive, and if you have the Sapphire Preferred card, you’ll get 1.25 cents per point. That’s not bad, particularly considering the flexibility of booking through the site. With the Sapphire Reserve, though, you’ll get 1.5 cents per point.
You can do better when redeeming directly through an airline, but you’ll get the same value every time you redeem through the UR site, no matter what flight, hotel or car rental you’re booking. Plus there are no blackout dates or limited award seats.
Miles price99,400points+$0 fee
Washington–Los AngelesEconomy class
Miles price33,700points+$0 fee
Atlanta–Fort LauderdaleEconomy class
Miles price14,700points+$0 fee
Las Vegas–San JoseEconomy class
Miles price27,680points+$0 fee
San Francisco–SeoulEconomy class
Miles price121,100points+$0 fee
Miles price52,700points+$0 fee
Miles price41,100points+$0 fee
Miles price55,100points+$0 fee
Los Angeles–HonoluluBusiness class
Miles price85,400points+$0 fee
New York–Punta CanaBusiness class
Miles price88,600points+$0 fee
New York–MoscowBusiness class
Miles price140,000points+$0 fee
Miles price80,000points+$646 fee
Other ways you can redeem points
Hotel Stays4 partners4 part.
You can’t transfer points to hotels with the Freedom card unless you also have a premium Ultimate Rewards card. If you do, you can transfer to four different hotel loyalty programs.
Chase markets the Freedom card as a cashback card. You’ll get one cent per point.
Points can’t be transferred directly to rental agencies, but you can book rentals through the Ultimate Rewards travel portal.
You can redeem for a wide variety of gift cards at a rate of one cent per point.
The real reason to get this card is for its stunning 5 percent earning potential. Unfortunately, there are a few hoops you have to jump through to get it.
First, the purchase categories that earn five points per dollar change every quarter, and you have to actually register every quarter in order to get the bonus. If you forget to register, you won’t earn the extra points.
Chase tends to choose bonus categories that customers spend a lot on, such as gas and groceries, but that may not always be the case for you. The categories aren’t fixed, and you have no control over what they’ll be in the future.
More importantly, you can earn 5 percent on a maximum of $1,500 in purchases per quarter. After that, every purchase earns just one point per dollar. That maxes out the bonus earning with this card at just $6,000 a year.
Your Monthly Charges
Rewards You Will Earn Annually24,000points$240in dollar value
- Quarterly rotating bonus categories
- All Other Purchases
The quarterly bonus categories can change from year to year, but they usually remain fairly similar. In the past year, gas stations and commuter transit expenses earned five points per dollar in the first quarter, grocery stores and drugstores earned the bonus in the second quarter, restaurants and movie theaters in the third and special holiday-related spending in the forth.
Foreign Transaction Fee
Best to leave this one at home when you travel abroad. You’ll be a 3% fee on all international transactions.
Earn Elite Status Fast
The Freedom card is not associated with any loyalty programs and cannot help you earn elite status.
Fees: the cost of Having the Card
You will never have to pay an annual fee to hold the Chase Freedom card. That means that all the rewards you earn are essentially a net profit. That includes the easy $150 welcome bonus you’ll get after spending just $500 in the first three months.
- Annual Fee:
- Balance Transfer Fee:
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
- Foreign Transaction Fee:
- 3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars
- Late Payment Fee:
Up to $15 if the balance is less than $100; up to $27 if the balance is $100 to less than $250; up to $37 if the balance is $250 or more
Chase Freedom is a no-fee card. You do not have to earn a certain amount of rewards in order to cover the cost since it’s free. It’s still good to know roughly how much you’ll be earning, though. We’ve broken out our estimates for the first- and second-year net earnings.
These estimates are based on an annual monthly spend of $2,000
Foreign Transaction Fees-$0
Rewards Earned First Year$390
Foreign Transaction Fees-$0
Rewards Earned Second Year$240
Top 5 Benefits of the Chase Freedom Card
On its own, Chase Freedom is a great cashback card thanks to its fantastic earning potential. But if you combine it with one of the premium Ultimate Rewards cards, it gets even better.
- Awesome Earning Potential: You’ll get 5 points per dollar spent in rotating bonus categories. The categories, which typically include everyday expenses like gas, dining out and groceries, change every quarter.
- No Annual Fee: With no annual fee, the Freedom card is easy to add to your arsenal of rewards cards. It’s also great for building credit since you can keep it forever at no cost and increase the age of your credit.
- Solid Sign-Up Bonus: While the 15,000 points sign-up bonus isn’t the biggest you’ll find, it isn’t bad for a no-fee card!
- Compliments Other Ultimate Rewards Cards: It’s easy and free to transfer the points you earn with this card to other UR cards. And if you have a premium UR card, like the Sapphire Preferred, you’ll get even more value out of your points.
- 0% Intro APR: New purchases and balance transfers are interest free for the first 15 months, making this a great card for making a big purchase or paying down debt.
Should You Get the Chase Freedom Card?
The short answer is yes! With no annual fee and impressive earning potential, this card is really a no-brainer. Even if you don’t have a premium Ultimate Rewards card, the Chase Freedom is still an excellent cashback card.
The only drawback is that it takes a little bit of work to get the most out of this card. You have to register every quarter for the bonus categories, and you have to remember what they are when you’re making purchases. You don’t want to use this card for all of your spending because it earns only one point per dollar in non-bonus categories.
You also have to pay attention to how much you’ve spent every quarter since the bonus categories max out at just $1,500. Spend more than that, and you’ll get the standard one point per dollar.
If you’re willing to work with these limitations, you should probably get this card. And if you want to maximize the value of the points you earn, you should probably also get the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Reserve. With the addition of either of those cards, you’ll be able to transfer points directly to frequent flyer programs and get more value when redeeming through the Ultimate Rewards travel portal.
Whether you’re an experienced travel hacker or a novice looking for an easy and rewarding cashback card, the Chase Freedom has something to offer you.
Need more info? Check out our frequently asked questions. If you have other questions, please click on “Ask Now” below.
While you can’t technically combine multiple Chase credit card accounts into one, you can transfer points between Ultimate Rewards accounts. That includes any Chase card that earns rewards and is not co-branded with an airline, hotel or any other organization. There is no limit to the size or number of transfers.
Transferring the points you earn with the Freedom card or any of the cards that Chase markets as cash back to a premium Ultimate Rewards card account is a great idea. You’ll have more flexibility in terms of what you can do with your points, plus you can potentially get more value.
With the Sapphire Preferred, Sapphire Reserve and the Ink Plus Business cards, you’ll be able to transfer points to seven different airline partners. That’s where you can get the most value by redeeming for award flights.
You can also redeem through the Ultimate Rewards website—which offers flights from nearly every airline—at a better rate with the premium cards. With just the Freedom card, you’d get one cent per point via the UR travel portal. But with the Sapphire Preferred you get 1.25 cents per point, and the Reserve gets 1.5 cents.
Yes. If you don’t hold any other Chase Ultimate Rewards card, you can still redeem the points you earn with the Freedom card for travel through the UR website.
However, that might not be the best option since you’ll get one cent per point, which is the same rate for redeeming for cash back. In other words, there’s no reason to be locked into the UR travel portal since you won’t be getting any extra value for your points. You might as well redeem for cash back and then use that to buy travel from anywhere you want.
If you happen to have the Sapphire Preferred or Reserve cards, though, you will get more value per point if you buy through the UR portal or transfer points to an airline.
This card is perfect for financing a big purchase. You’ll get 15 months of interest-free financing. Just be sure to pay off your debt before the end of the promotional period or you’ll be hit with up to 24.74% interest!
Remember that paying interest on outstanding debt reduces or eliminates the potential value you’ll get from any rewards you earn. Because rates are so high, what you pay in interest can easily be more than any rewards you can earn, even if you can maximize their value.
The Freedom card is a little easier to get than most. Many rewards cards require you to have excellent credit, which is a score over 700. However, many customers have reported getting the Freedom card with scores in the 645 range. That’s good news considering how much this card has to offer with its 0% introductory APR and fantastic earning potential.
The Freedom card is a reasonable option for balance transfers because it offer 0% APR for the first 15 months. However, you will have to pay a 5 percent transfer fee. You’ll have to do the math to see if you’ll ultimate save money.
You should also keep in mind that there are a few cards, such as the Barclaycard Ring, that offer both an introductory interest-free period and no transfer fees. If you qualify for one of those cards, they would be a better choice.
Chase offers several cards in their Ultimate Rewards lineup. They range from the no-fee Freedom cards to the premium Sapphire Reserve with its $450 annual fee.
Other Chase Freedom cards
|Chase Sapphire Reserve℠||Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card||Chase Freedom Unlimited℠|
|50,000 points||15,000 points||50,000 points||15,000 points|
|$450||$0||$0 Intro fee for the first year. After that, $95||$0|
APR On Purchases
|16.99% to 23.99% Variable±||15.99% to 24.74% Variable±||16.99% to 23.99% Variable±||15.99% to 24.74% Variable±|
Second Year Value
The Chase Freedom card’s best feature is its rotating bonus categories that earn five points per dollar spent. That sort of return is hard to beat. Unfortunately, the standard Freedom card doesn’t have much else to offer in terms of everyday earning. All other purchases, and all purchases that go over the quarterly bonus limit of $1,500, earn just one point per dollar.
That’s where the Chase Freedom Unlimited card comes in. Every single dollar you spend earns 1.5 points. There are no limits on how much you can earn, either. If you don’t want to deal with the hassle of rotating bonus categories, this card is great choice because every purchase earns a bonus.
Pairing either of the Freedom cards with either of the Sapphire cards will both maximize your earning and the value of your points. If you have a Sapphire card, you can transfer the points you earn with a Freedom card to any of the Ultimate Rewards program’s travel partners.
You’ll also get a discount on any redemptions you make through the Ultimate Rewards travel portal. With the Sapphire Preferred, you’ll get 1.25 cents per point, and the Sapphire Reserve offers 1.5 cents per point.
While both Freedom cards serve the same general purpose by offering the ability to earn bonus points on everyday purchases and charging no annual fee, the Sapphire cards are actually quite different from each other. The Preferred card is a standard travel rewards card, offering double points for travel and dining, as well as a 50,000 points sign-up bonus. The annual fee, which is waived for the first year, is only $95.
The Sapphire Reserve, on the other hand, is a premium travel rewards card that comes with a lot of perks and a hefty annual fee. You’ll pay $450 to carry the card, and that fee isn’t waived the first year. While you’ll get the same 50,000 points sign-up bonus as with the Preferred card, you’ll also get a whole lot more. To start with, the Reserve comes with an annual travel credit of $300, which instantly knocks the net cost of the annual fee down to $150. You’ll also earn more for everyday purchase, getting triple points for travel and dining.
On top of that, you’ll get free Priority Pass airport lounge access, a $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck and other perks, like special privileges at car rental agencies and benefits at select hotels. If you’re a traveler, it’s definitely a card worth considering. And pairing it with either Freedom card will give you a whole lot of earning potential.
Compare the Chase Freedom Card to Other Cards
The Chase Freedom has a lot of competition in the world of cashback cards. Let’s take a look at some of the competition.
The Barclaycard CashForward card is more similar to the Freedom Unlimited than the standard Freedom card. It earns the same 1.5 percent cash back on every purchase and has no annual fee. One perk this card offers over the Freedom Unlimited is a 5 percent redemption bonus. You’ll get 5 percent of your rewards back to use towards your next redemption. So every $100 you redeem, you’ll get $5 deposited back into your card account.
The Discover it Miles card is advertized as a travel card, but it’s essentially a cashback card. You’ll earn miles, but those miles are redeemable for statement credits toward travel purchases. Like the CashForward and the Freedom Unlimited, you’ll get 1.5 miles for every dollar spent and there’s no annual fee.
This card differs, though, because of its unique sign-up bonus. Instead of getting a payout of points or cash after reaching a minimum spend, Discover will match all of the miles you’ve earned at the end of your first year of card membership. If you earn 10,000 miles during the year, you’ll get a 10,000 miles bonus. But there’s no limit to this, so you could potentially earn a very impressive bonus if you rack up a lot of miles in the first 12 months of holding the card.
The AARP card from Chase is slightly different because it’s designed for AARP members. This no-fee card has a lot to offer. You’ll get a $200 sign-up bonus, plus 3% back at restaurants and gas stations. That’s a great return for popular spending categories.
While these cards have some nice benefits, they lack two things you’ll get with the Freedom card: You won’t earn quintuple points, and, perhaps more importantly, you can’t transfer the points you earn to other Chase card accounts.
If you have a premium Chase Ultimate Rewards card, you’ll be able to transfer your points to seven different airline partners or redeem for travel via the UR travel portal at a discount. Those two redemption options can make your points go a lot further than just earning cash back.
Whenever you apply for a credit card make sure you read the terms and conditions of the card and the rewards program to find out about minimum spend requirements and any restrictions to ensure you can successfully obtain the card and earn the rewards it offers.
Excellent credit score
IssuerJPMorgan Chase & Co.
Pay with pointsYes
Loyalty ProgramUltimate Rewards®
Flights TypeDomestic and International
AllianceStar Alliance, SkyTeam, OneWorld
Card Terms and Conditions
While it's easy to focus on the rewards offered by the Chase Freedom card, it's worth taking a closer look at the terms and conditions. There's a lot to consider as you think about how you're going to use the card. Will you carry a balance, get a cash advance or maybe make a big purchase? Below is a rundown of the various interest rates, purchase protections, security features and mobile banking options that come with this Visa card.
- Intro APR:
- 0% intro APR for 15 months
- Intro APR for balance transfers:
- 0% intro APR for 15 months
- Ongoing APR:
- 15.99% to 24.74% Variable±
- Minimum Grace Period:
- 21 days
- Extended Warranty Protection:
- Extends the time period of the U.S. manufacturer's warranty by an additional year. Warranties of three years or less qualify.
- Purchase Protection:
- Covers your new purchases for 120 days against damage or theft for up to $500 per claim and $50,000 per account.
Cash Advance Features
- Ongoing APR:
- 25.99% Variable ±
- Cash Advance Fee:
- Either $10 or 5% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater
Security and Protections
The Freedom card comes with the standard security features you’d expect.
- Zero Liability Protection:
- You’ll never be held responsible for unauthorized charges made with your card.
- Chip-Enabled Security:
- Get an extra layer of security when using a chip card reader.
Using your card has never been easier with a variety of mobile payment and account tracking options.
- Chase Mobile App:
- Track account activity, make payments and pay bills from your mobile device.
- Digital Wallet:
- This card is compatible with Chase Pay, Apple Pay, Android Pay and Samsung Pay.
Additional Cardholder Benefits
As a standard Visa card, the Chase Freedom does not have the full suite of cardholder benefits that you’d find with a Visa Signature. However, it does have a few valuable travel protections.
Visa Signature Travel Benefits
- Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver:
- Coverage for theft and collision for most rentals in the U.S. and abroad. Coverage is secondary to your personal insurance.
- Lost Luggage Reimbursement:
- Get up to $3,000 per passenger for damaged or lost bags. Coverage includes cardholder and immediate family members on the same travel itinerary.
- Roadside Dispatch:
- Call 1-800-847-2869 for roadside assistance, including lockout service, towing, jumpstart and gas delivery. Service charges apply.
- Travel Accident Insurance:
- Receive accidental death or dismemberment coverage of up to $250,000 for any air, bus, train or cruise ship transportation paid for with your card.